Amazon Schmamazon – DC Don’t Need No Stinkin Amazon HQ2

The DC Tech Scene is all a tizzy over the possibility that Amazon will open its second headquarters, or what all the cool kids are calling Amazon HQ2 somewhere in the DMV. For those of you who are living in a hefty bag, let me catch you up. In September 2017 Amazon announced it's intention to spend $5 billion in construction cost for a second headquarters that would employ 50,000 people somewhere in North America. They invited economic development authorities and local governments to join a beauty contest for the honor to host Amazon HQ2. On January 19th Amazon made their decision. Based on all the tax incentives and other corporate welfare offerings from all the bidding parties, Amazon narrowed their choices to 20 finalists from 17 major metropolitan areas. They are: The DC region has 3 bites at the 20 bite apple. Washington DC, Montgomery County, and Northern Virginia.  And all of a sudden the press went a flutter! Well, not the Journalists, let me rephrase that. The link baiters at DCInno and Technial.ly.dc better known as (Technically not Technically) all have Amazon fever. Well, folks, I'm not all aflutter...

Evan Burfield Fail – 1776 Part 3

Welcome to Evan Burfield Fail Part 3, in which I will trace Evan's creation of 1776 to his demotion to CEO of Union (to catch up you can read parts 1 and parts 2 here). In whole these 3 posts track the rise and fall of Burfield or Evan Burfield Fail. In an upcoming post, I will track the Burfield Effect on the DC Ecosystem and make some predictions about his future. If you are keeping score at home: I predicted the failure of 1776 years ago, albeit they breezed past my failure prediction of 2015 I predicted that 1776 would be bought out by Benjamin's desk I predicted that this so-called merger was an actual buy-out of a failing 1776 by Benjamin's Desk DC's Mr. Cranky or DC's Nostradamus? Stay tuned! Evan Burfield Fail - 1776 Coworking In 2012 Startup DC, enabled Burfield to cozy up to the DC Mayor's office. Mayor Gray. As the Startup America initiative was winding down, Evan developed his plan to leverage his relationship with Startup America's, Donna Harris, Mayor Gray and David Zipper, the Business Development Director for DC. In a process that took place in a darkened smoke-filled room of DC's version of Tammany Hall, Evan and Donna proposed the...

#DCTech 1776 Merger or House Cleaning?

Is the Benjamin's Desk, 1776 Merger a merger or is it something else? The deal that has been in the works for 2 months finally closed today. After much consternation, wrangling and negotiated face-saving for the vanquished 1776, Benjamin's Desk kindly allowed Evan Burfield to pretend he's not been pushed out of that which he's burned to the ground. My sources report that Evan's face-saving measures have been a contributing factor in the delay of closing the deal. Is it a merger of equals? Well, it's a merger of equals if you don't take in to account 1776's dire financial straights and incredible operating losses under Evan Burfield's stewardship. It's a merger of equals if you want to insult Jennifer and Anthony Maher who appear to be growing a credible business.  It's a merger of equals if sick equals healthy. Here are the facts we know about the Benjamin's Desk - 1776 Merger The press release says it's a merger Press releases report spin...

Wolves of Startupland

Wolves Of StartupLand – #DCTech-style

The Wolves Of StartupLand What's wrong with Mr. Cranky? Why is he always bemoaning that the sky is falling? Is he chicken little? Is he like Peter in Peter and the Wolf? Are there really Wolves in StartupLand? Is he a wolf? Absolutely YES and on Thursday's for the next few months, I'm going to make my episodic case to that end in a series of blog posts that detail what puts the Crank in Mr. Cranky. Why is he so mean to that poor startup founder?  Why is he such a bully? Although I prefer to think of me as more of a Proceed With Caution Sign than a bully. But that's just me. You make up your own mind. Over the next few months, I'm going to be dedicating my Thursday Blog Posts to multi-part stories telling the tales of The Wolves of StartupLand.  I'm talking about the people who game the system, fudge the truth, may have squirreled away with the money of others...

Buzz to Biz Fool

Mr Cranky’s Buzz to Biz Ratio

What is the Buzz to Biz Ratio say you? It's the ratio that measures the correlation between company buzz and the value of a business. It's the fact that real companies understand that time, money, resources are precious and any resources dedicated to things other than designing, building, selling and supporting the best damn product possible is wasted energy. The Buzz to Biz ratio is the metric that separates a great company like ZoomData...

Dumb Money

Mr Cranky Dumb Money Venture Crapital

Dumb Money is someone willing to invest in a Venture Fund run by a Tech.co technology rag full of "journalists" who never saw a bad idea they didn't think would make a great company. I just got this email from Tech.co founder Frank Gruber: From: Frank Gruber Date: Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 2:20 PM Subject: Re: Timely: Opportunity To Get Involved To: Glen Hellman Cc: Jen Consalvo, Jon Spinney Hi Glen, I hope you're doing well. We haven't heard from you in a bit so I wanted to circle back one last time to see if you're interested in getting involved in TechCo Ventures. The 6 companies targeted for our initial fund are: Blendoor CoSchedule Klickly Peanut Butter ProxBox ShearShare We have finalized terms and are prepared to begin the closing process. Please let us know your final indication of interest and we will send along final documents to execute. Final documents will be sent via DocuSign from Jon Spinney from Malartu (jon@malartufunds.us). So look for that coming to you soon. We look forward to having you involved and are available this weekend to answer any questions regarding the close. Thanks, Frank Frank Gruber CEO, Tech.Co Author of Startup Mixology Host of Innovate & Celebrate Conference Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn Truthfully...

DCs Mr Cranky

Why Do They Call Me DC’s Mr Cranky?

DC's Mr Cranky? Tonight, for the umpteenth time I was introduced as DC's Mr Cranky. Tonight, folks continuously asked, "Why Mr Cranky?" I obviously wasn't amongst my base. They didn't know me. So I thought today, I'd explain to the world...